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Utah's cultural and arts organizations desperately need more money to give us the quality and quantity of the things we have become accustomed to.

I have been appalled at the number of letters I have read arguing against a one-tenth of 1 percent tax increase claiming that this tax is going to support the "rich patron's underpriced tickets." Forgive me for saying so, but ticket prices for the symphony, ballet, opera, theater, etc., are high enough for me already. I happen to be a college student, and a very unwealthy one, who appreciates the arts and cultural offerings of this city. If this tax increase fails to pass, I expect my future salary as a teacher to be less than sufficient to help me enjoy the quality of life here. Of course, if the tax increase fails to pass, I expect that the quality of life for everybody will be greatly diminished because ticket prices will soar out of control and/or several cultural organizations will go belly up.I don't believe that the arts are just for the wealthy. In fact, I appreciate some of Salt Lake's "wealthy" who I see contributing their money to the arts so that we lower and middle-class folk can afford to get a bit of culture now and again. If some of you don't take advantage of the finer things in life at the bargain price we have been given, that is your own fault. The wonderful cultural offerings we have in this valley are invaluable to us. If this tax increase does not pass, I fear that many of us will see those offerings placed out of our reach.

Shawn Bender

West Valley City